Detoxing your body from a regular diet of drugs and booze is not something you should consider lightly.
Many people don’t realize that some addictive substances can prove to be very potent even when you undergo the process of detox and stop using them.
The process of eliminating the actual drugs themselves and the toxins they create in the body is known as withdrawal. As well as this elimination process, withdrawal is worsened by your body, including your brain, adjusting to having no drugs or alcohol in its system.
For someone who doesn’t regularly use drugs or alcohol, but has binged on one or both of them recently, you may experience physical symptoms associated with a mild substance withdrawal.
One of these symptoms, more often than not, is nausea - a constant feeling of feeling like you will vomit, and having little or no appetite.
However, if you regularly use addictive substances, or you have a diagnosed substance use disorder (known as SUD), you can experience a much more severe withdrawal process, and this can include a whole host of uncomfortable and sometimes painful symptoms - one of which will definitely be nausea.
With certain substances, however, such as opioids, alcohol or benzodiazepines, the withdrawal process can even prove to be life-threatening if the worst symptoms or potential complications are left untreated.
In the case of SUD or heavy substance use over an extended period of time, and certainly if you have been using the substances just mentioned, you require a professional medically assisted detox - carried out in an authorized medical facility.
In fact, with my own past history of drug and alcohol use and addiction, the only detox I was advised and allowed to undergo was a professional medically-assisted detox, supervised by trained medical staff in a substance addiction treatment clinic as part of my drug rehab in Arizona.
Regardless, it is always advisable to seek the opinion of your family physician before deciding the best way forward if you have been heavily using or abusing recreational drugs, prescription medications or alcohol.
Nausea is considered a nonspecific medical symptom of a number of conditions, illnesses, medications and other factors. Nausea can also temporarily occur in perfectly healthy people, as well as being a common symptom of drug and alcohol withdrawal.
If you’re detoxing and you feel nauseous, here are our “9 Essential Tips for Easing Nausea During Drug & Alcohol Detox”:
- Rehydrate: Diarrhea and vomiting (often associated with nausea and stomach problems) will dehydrate you - actually more dangerous than most of the withdrawal symptoms you could experience. Drinking as much water as you can (and keep down) will keep you fully hydrated and prevent other problems. Don’t gulp it down quickly, but rather sip it consistently.
- Rest: Perhaps the best thing you can do is to sleep. If you can’t, get as comfortable as possible and simply rest. If you fall asleep easily, all the better. The key is getting as much rest as you can.
- Simple Foods: During withdrawal, your stomach is highly sensitive. Avoid hot drinks, and spicy or fried or acidic foods. Keep it as simple as possible. Eating foods like toast, bananas, or noodles. You should try to eat if you can.
- Over-The-Counter (OTC) Medications: Pepto-Bismol or Imodium can relieve some of the aspects of nausea - use it as directed.
- Ginger: Many pregnant women swear by using ginger, and they’re not wrong, as it is one of the safest home remedies for nausea during pregnancy. 1 gram of ginger each day is an effective way to control feelings of nausea and vomiting. Drugstores usually sell ginger capsules, but ginger candy is also an option.
- Aromatherapy: If it’s available to you, peppermint oil aromatherapy is also known to be very effective against feelings of nausea. Other aromatherapy products include lemon and cardamom oils.
- Acupressure: Acupressure is an alternative therapy similar to acupuncture, and it is done by applying pressure to specific points in the body. There are studies available that demonstrate acupressure can be useful in alleviating stomach issues.
- Herbal Tea: Herbal teas can help soothe an upset stomach. Lemon, ginger, and peppermint herbal teas are all good options, since these herbs are good for nausea. Serve them cool if you can.
If you have experienced the process of detox and drug or alcohol withdrawal, how did you deal with the common symptom of nausea?
Was the nausea medicated as part of a medically- assisted detox in an accredited facility, or did you use OTC medications or one of the home remedies described above?
Please feel free to share your experiences, ideas and comments below to share with other readers.
Lastly, please remember to seek professional medical advice from your family physician or an accredited drug and alcohol treatment center as to whether or not you require a medically assisted detox, especially if you have been abusing opioids, alcohol or benzodiazepines.
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